The goal of December 3rd’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is to raise awareness of the place of persons living with disabilities. This is in all elements of political, social, economic, and cultural life and to advance their rights and well-being at all levels of society and development.

In an effort to improve the social and economic well-being of thousands of Kenyans through inclusion and diversity, Optiven has made a deliberate commitment of integrating persons with disability into it’s corporate development plans first as a culture, and second as a step towards achieving the strategic vision and corporate goals.

Associate Director for Human Resources and Talent Management, Winnie Wambui says, “our policy on people living with disabilities clearly highlights non – discriminatory practices, anti-harassment, providing a conducive environment and ensuring effective participatory, equity and respect for persons with disabilities.”

The practice according to Wambui is that the same has been extended to the company’s soft-arm which is the Optiven Foundation, where so far, the foundation has been involved in numerous philanthropic initiatives in a quest to transform the social wellbeing of thousands of Kenyans through donations of wheelchairs and philanthropy.

As one of the pillars under the Optiven Foundation is health, the Associate Director in charge of the Optiven Foundation, John Kyallo says, #MobilityThatBringsSmiles. The initiative distributes wheelchairs to people living with disabilities at the county level as part of it’s mandate as eyes on the community and to help in their mobility. Since 2019, the Foundation has been at the forefront in advocacy for persons with disabilities.

Ann Nyaga, the Optiven Group Foundation Cordinator says, “so far the Optiven Foundation through the #MobilityThatBringsSmiles Campaign, has donated over 170 brand new wheelchairs to persons living with disabilities – a fete that has won the department a well deserved award. Of course, we do not do this alone as the initiative continues to receive massive requests from the ever increasing requests for wheelchairs.

To this end we welcome the public to come join hands with us as we put smiles on our brothers and sisters who are living with disability.” This year, the theme for the World Disability Day is EQUALITY. According to the United Nations, there is a rallying call that globally calls for action on health. Ad verbatim ….

“We will not effectively address global health priorities or achieve sustainable development goal number 3 unless health equity for persons with disabilities at the center of our efforts.” In the pillar devoted to reducing poverty, Josephine Leshao, a mother of three who is partially blind, as well as battling cancer and living with HIV, the Optiven Foundation donated a piece of land worth 1.5 million shillings at the Garden of Joy.

This was under a special philanthropic campaign dubbed “Badilisha life na Optiven ” aimed at transforming the lives of the destitute in society and alleviating poverty in Kenyan communities – so as to enhance social and economic transformation.

According to the United Nations, an estimated 1.3 billion people which is equivalent to 16% of the global population worldwide; experience significant disability today. The intent is therefore to ensure that Optiven as a stakeholder and adherent to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, provides an environment where there is equality of opportunities for all and where persons with disability can enjoy a quality work experience.

Why? Because the people living with disability are part of our society, and many of them are contributing to the well being of humanity as a whole. At the end of the day, persons with disabilities have a right to the highest attainable standard of health as those living without disabilities.